What Are The Signs Of Low Potassium In The Body – Hypokalemia is the primary indication for potassium supplementation. However, people with other illnesses can also benefit from supplementing with this element. Swollen feet, constant sleepiness, headaches, tremors in the calves or thighs, mood swings, and an irregular heart rhythm can all mean that your diet isn’t getting enough potassium.
Potassium is one of the most important elements in the body. As an electrolyte, its role is to maintain the correct voltage on cell membranes and transmit electrical impulses between cells. This means that it controls the work of the muscles, including the heart, and is responsible for each heartbeat. By participating in the process of building amino acids and proteins, it is also responsible for the proper muscle building process and muscle mass, as well as proper muscle tone due to magnesium antagonism.
- 1 What Are The Signs Of Low Potassium In The Body
- 2 Signs Of Low Potassium
- 3 Symptoms Of Low Potassium
What Are The Signs Of Low Potassium In The Body
Potassium also helps remove excess fluid from the body, which is especially important when sodium intake is too high (as in today’s society), as one of the causes of excess sodium is fluid retention and limb swelling. As a sodium antagonist, potassium regulates the amount of water, reduces swelling and simultaneously lowers blood pressure. By controlling water and acid-base balance, it helps maintain homeostasis throughout the body.
Signs Of Low Potassium
Potassium absorption occurs in the small intestine, and the main organs that maintain a constant concentration are the kidneys. Only 8% of potassium is excreted through the gastrointestinal tract. But this value increases in patients with renal failure. Too much potassium excreted from the body causes its deficiency, i.e. hypokalemia.
Serious symptoms of potassium deficiency appear only when the concentration of this element has dropped significantly, and disappear relatively quickly after the level is restored. However, milder potassium deficiency can also cause unpleasant ailments, such as general fatigue, water retention, swelling of the limbs, spontaneous tremors in the thighs or calves, and headaches.
The risk of serious potassium deficiency increases in the elderly, whose main factors are insufficient potassium intake, increased potassium loss through the gastrointestinal tract, and frequent use of drugs that increase potassium excretion.
, a daily potassium intake of at least 4,700 mg and 5,100 mg for lactating women is recommended. Potassium can be found in many foods. It is found in almost all meat – white and red, as well as fish and vegetables. Good sources are broccoli, spinach, legumes – peas and beans – as well as potatoes (mainly skin), tomatoes and pumpkin. Potassium is also found in fruits such as bananas, kiwis, citrus fruits, plums and apricots (more in dried apricots). Milk, yogurt and nuts also contain potassium.
Signs You Have A Potassium Deficiency
Unfortunately, it is well known that nutrients may not be completely absorbed from food for various reasons (including illness) or the food itself is so nutrient-poor that it does not meet the needs. Creating an optimal diet is not easy. For example, the average dietary potassium content of hypertensive patients provides only about 70% of the TDI, due to inadequate intake of vegetables and fruits. Therefore, if potassium stores need to be increased, dietary supplements should be considered.
The first thing to do is to determine the level of potassium in the body. You can get information about whether your system is deficient, excessive, or normal in potassium levels from the results of an Elemental Hair Analysis (EHA). The results reflect the concentration of potassium in the body, and the level of the remaining 28 elements is a clue to the causes of a possible potassium deficiency and an invaluable aid in choosing the right treatment and dietary supplement. Results indicating severe potassium deficiency warrant further targeted diagnosis.
In case of hypokalemia, potassium supplementation is necessary. It should also be considered in people at risk of potassium deficiency (without hypokalemia). The risk group includes the elderly and people with hypertension, heart rhythm disorders, post-stroke, kidney stone disease or osteoporosis.
There are studies showing the benefits of increased potassium intake in adults with hypertension. Studies have shown reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure, as well as a lower risk of stroke by an average of 24%. At the same time, no side effects of increased potassium consumption on kidney function were observed.
Potassium Deficiency (plants)
A reduction in the risk of thrombosis due to increased potassium stores and a reduction in urinary calcium excretion were also observed in animal studies. Patients who excrete more potassium have also been shown to have a lower risk of developing urinary stones. The reduction in calcium excretion in people with high potassium intake is also the reason why the risk of osteoporosis is reduced.
Determining the type of potassium supplement requires an individual approach that takes into account the condition of the body organs responsible for regulating this element. Currently, the most commonly used forms of potassium (potassium chloride) are tablets or capsules. However, the liquid form of the food supplement is best absorbed by the body. When choosing a product, pay attention to the potassium content.
Factors that require special caution when supplementing with potassium include prolonged bed rest, low fluid intake, difficulty swallowing, gastroparesis, and medications. Potassium products should be taken after a meal with at least 100 ml of water at room temperature and standing or sitting for about 10 minutes.
Symptoms Of Low Potassium
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This website uses Google Analytics to collect anonymous information, such as the number of visitors to the site and the most popular pages. Too much potassium can cause the body to be unable to filter out excess potassium. This can cause symptoms such as an irregular heartbeat, muscle problems and shortness of breath.
Hyperkalemia: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Cost, And Side Effects
Too much potassium in the blood is called hyperkalemia. Potassium plays a role in your nerve impulses, metabolism, and blood pressure.
Hyperkalemia occurs when your body can’t filter out excess potassium it doesn’t need. Extra potassium messes with your nerve and muscle cells. This can cause complications in your heart and other areas of your body.
You may not notice the symptoms of high potassium. You can find out about hyperkalemia only after routine blood tests. Your doctor may monitor your potassium levels more closely than other minerals.
Too much potassium in your blood can cause heart conditions such as arrhythmia. This condition is also called irregular heartbeat. An arrhythmia can cause your heart to beat too fast, too slow, or have an irregular rhythm.
Effects Of Hyperkalemia On The Body
Arrhythmias occur because potassium is an integral part of the electrical signal in the myocardium. The myocardium is the thick muscle layer of the heart.
Be aware that other medications used to treat heart disease can contribute to high potassium levels. If you have heart failure, you may take beta blockers, ACE inhibitors or diuretics. These drugs can cause hyperkalemia.
Make sure your doctor checks your potassium levels regularly while you’re taking these medications to avoid misdiagnosing hyperkalemia.
High potassium does not cause kidney disease, but it is generally directly related to your kidneys. If you have kidney failure or another kidney disease, you may be more susceptible to high potassium levels. This is because your kidneys are designed to balance your body’s potassium levels.
What Is Potassium And Why Do We Need It: 15 Foods High In Potassium
Your body absorbs potassium through food, drinks, and sometimes supplements. Your kidneys excrete the rest of the potassium in your urine. But if your kidneys aren’t working as they should, your body may not be able to remove excess potassium.
These symptoms can develop slowly in your body and be so mild that you don’t even notice them. Subtle symptoms can make it difficult to diagnose high potassium. It is important to visit your doctor regularly for routine blood work.
If you are prone to high potassium levels, there are several ways to manage the condition to avoid complications.
Avoid foods high in potassium, such as green leafy vegetables and citrus fruits. Talk to your doctor or dietitian about how to limit or avoid them and maintain your health. A low-potassium diet also focuses on portion sizes to make sure you don’t eat more of the mineral than you should.
The Importance Of Potassium And How To Get More
If you can’t lower it, you may also need medication to control your potassium levels
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